The 7 best meditation apps to add some self-care to the daily grind

Finding time for mindfulness amid a busy workday can be challenging. These meditation apps help professionals refocus, reset and make time for self-care.

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Over the last year, millions of professionals have worked remotely to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Amid the clunky transition to the virtual office en masse, meditation app downloads boomed as people sought to incorporate mindfulness into their day. These apps feature guided meditation sessions, visualization tools to help people drift to sleep and more. Here are 7 of the best meditation apps to add some self-care to the busy workday.

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Headspace

Headspace is a popular meditation app with more than 780,000 ratings in the App Store. The paid version includes a series of exercises to add a little physical activity to the sedentary office setting and the available playlists and meditations help boost focus. Headspace also includes quick-hitting meditations (including one-minute guided meditations) for those looking for short sessions peppered in throughout the day. "Sleepcasts" and music help people fall asleep at the end of a long day and other audio offerings such as stories and meditations are intended to help people ease into their routine in the morning. The app is available on the App Store and Google Play.

Calm

Apple's 2017 iPhone App of the Year, Calm, is certainly worth a look for those seeking mindfulness and meditation. The app offers guided meditations and breathing exercises for people looking to refocus as well as sleep stories, nature soundtracks and music. Exercises, stretching and a variety of master classes round out the full suite of app offerings. The app also includes stories and meditation practices for children and Calm for business is designed to help organizations provide mindfulness as an employment perk. The app is available on the App Store and Google Play.

Aura

Aura offers a personalized approach to self-care and daily mindfulness. To start the process, the app will ask you to take a quick assessment. With a series of questions, the app will ask you about your goals, why you are choosing to use the app and your preferred content options. Next, the app asks you to detail your mood, desired session length, age and gender to personalize a plan. Aura also features options for children, cognitive behavioral therapy, life coaching, hypnosis and more. The app is available on the App Store and Google Play.

MyLife Meditation

MyLife lets people select from a series of adjectives to provide insights about their mood and then the app recommends activities based on this feedback. The premium subscription includes more than 400 activities such as guided journaling, breathing sessions, meditation, yoga, acupressure and more. The app also offers sleep sounds for people who prefer to use audio to drift away at the end of a long day. The app is available on the App Store and Google Play.

Insight Timer - Meditation App

The Insight Time app boasts a library with more than 90,000 free guided meditations. There are numerous meditation topics available ranging from "gentle repetition" options like Vedantic and mantra to visual meditation exercises like Guided Imagery. The app includes yoga lessons for those so inclined and free live events featuring teachers from around the globe. Companies can take advantage of the mindfulness program, Circles, designed to help teams meditate together. The app is available on the App Store and Google Play.

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Buddhify

During the busy workweek  it can be challenging to find time for self-care. To assist, the Buddhify app lets people select a specific setting or task and then suggests a mindfulness session based on these parameters. For example, the app offers meditations to pair with traveling, going to sleep, a break at work, eating and more. Teacher-led sessions range from short three-minute offerings to more extensive 40-minute meditations for people of all skill levels. There are also features designed for children. The app is available on the App Store and Google Play.

Breethe

The Breethe meditation app poses a series of questions to customize the mindfulness experience. The app also includes a number of situation-specific meditations with straightforward titles for clarity. This includes meditation sessions titled "My Family Drives Me Nuts" and "My Boss is a Jerk." Overall, the app library touts more than 1,500 tracks and also includes sleep sounds and bedtime visualizations. The sleep stories are "meditations narrated to lull even the most hardcore insomniacs into a night of deep sleep," according to the Google Play app page.  The app is available on the App Store and Google Play.

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